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Third smuggling boat this year abandoned near Mariposa Reina

A smuggling boat, commonly referred to as a panga boat, was discovered over the weekend one mile south of Mariposa Reina in Santa Barbara County.

Authorities say the abandoned boat was discovered by a Santa Barbara County Air Support unit doing a routine patrol of the coastal area at 11 a.m. Sunday. An investigation is underway.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department says 18 containers with at least 130 gallons of fuel were discovered on board. However, authorities were not able to locate any drugs or suspects connected to the panga boat. No arrests have been made at this time.

The Sheriff’s Department, State Parks, and U.S. Coast Guard personnel responded to the scene. They believe this panga boat was transporting drugs when it landed on the coast.

Homeland Security took possession of the boat, and are currently spearheading an investigation.

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